State legislatures as the motivating force behind frontloading
Putnam, Joshua Tyler
MetadataShow full item record
Political science literature has done much to point out the presence of frontloading, but has failed to sufficiently explain why it is that states have decided to move their presidential primaries to earlier dates. Previously, Mayer and Busch (2004) attempted to answer this question indirectly, using as evidence the correlation between candidate spending and the date on which a state’s primary is held. In contrast however, this paper observes the actual decision makers in this process—the state legislatures—and examines how several factors—candidate spending, media coverage, split primaries, when a primary was and whether the primary was the only event on a date—influence their decision to move their state’s primary to an earlier date. To examine the relationships between the state legislatures’ decisions and these factors, a time series cross-sectional logit model is utilized for a 28 state sample over the course of the elections from 1976-1996.